Albury-Wodonga high schools welcome first cohort of students from La Trobe’s Nexus program

Border high schools are reaping the benefits of La Trobe’s new pathway into secondary teaching with the first cohort of students six months into the course.

Wodonga Senior Secondary College welcomed Sam Davies into its teaching ranks this year as he completes his first year of the Nexus program.

Mr Davies has lived in eight cities in four countries, studying and working for international aid organisations and as a crisis response consultant for a large private medical and security provider. He has a Bachelor of International Relations from the Australian National University and recently decided to put down his roots in regional Victoria.

"I work hard at whatever I do, and I chose to become a teacher because I want my hard work to matter,” he said.

“I resigned from my Sydney-based manager-level role, moved to regional Victoria and joined the Nexus program because I knew I wanted to make a difference by helping individuals set and achieve their own goals.”

“I was looking for a way to become a teacher without having to stop working, not because of the income but the sense of purpose and achievement. Nexus provides an opportunity to change career without having to take too many steps backwards in that transitional process.”

There are currently six students enrolled at the Albury-Wodonga campus teaching at Wodonga Senior Secondary College, Wodonga Middle Years College and Tallangatta Secondary College. During the accelerated 18-month employment-based program, students will be paid at teacher aide rates while they study and complete placements in low socioeconomic status (SES) secondary schools across Victoria and finish with a Master of Teaching (Secondary) degree.

“The course work is delivered well online but working at the school is by far the best part of this program and is what makes it unique,” Sam said.

“Every day I am in the classroom I fall more and more in love with teaching. I would strongly encourage mid-career professionals who are looking for a more meaningful career to consider using their experience to build a better future for young Australians.”

Academic Coordinator Stephani Garoni said the program is designed for students already living in regional areas who are interested in a teaching career.

“It’s all about putting highly qualified people in local schools that are from the regional area, who are willing to stay and work locally even after finishing the program,” Dr Garoni said.

“All the schools involved are really supportive of the program. Nexus provides funding to the schools for mentors so that our students are well supported throughout the entire course. They remain in the one school for the full 18-months, meaning they build quality relationships with staff and students from that school.”

Dr Garoni said there’s currently 35 students in the program and they’re hoping to target more prospective students from the North East catchment area for the next intake.

You can learn more about the Nexus program and eligibility criteria here.

Media Contact: Jessica Chalmers-Borella | j.chalmers@latrobe.edu.au

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